SBD/August 19, 2011/Franchises

Stern: Hornets Have 4-5 Prospective Buyers Interested In Keeping Team In City

Hornets just 1,000 season tickets away from meeting sales goal
NBA Commissioner David Stern said the Hornets are “starting to show signs they can achieve long-term viability in New Orleans and have attracted interest from four or five potential buyers who would keep the franchise” in the city, according to John Reid of the New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE. Stern declined to identify the prospective buyers, but said, “We have four or possibly five buyers that engaged us about the purchase of the franchise to remain in Louisiana. We have said that we’re happy to continue conversations, but we need to complete all of the things we’re working on and have a better idea on where the collective bargaining agreement is going to land.” The Hornets are “just 1,000 season tickets shy of meeting their sales objective of 10,000 after having 6,300 last season.” Stern said that he is “confident the Hornets will continue making progress toward securing their long-term future in New Orleans.” Hornets Chair Jac Sperling has been “charged with making the franchise more financially attractive for a local buyer and has spearheaded the team’s ‘I’m In’ campaign.” Stern said, “We think if all of these things happen, this is a franchise that doesn’t have to be viewed as a weak NBA franchise” (New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE, 8/18).

PRICE OF SUCCESS: In L.A., Mike Bresnahan reports Lakers season-ticket prices “increased about 4% across the board, with courtside seats up to $2,700 each, a $100 bump from last season.” Season-ticket holders who “did not pay for tickets with a lump sum earlier this summer will owe the second of three payment installments next month and a third installment in November.” The Lakers said that “if games are canceled because of the lockout, pro-rated refunds will be given along with an added 1% cash refund” (L.A. TIMES, 8/19).
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